Public speaking. How hard could it be, right?
Well, the truth of the matter is, most regular folks find the prospect of getting up in front of a group of their peers and speaking convincingly terrifying.
If you’re looking to get into a career in public speaking, these are the things you’ll think about.
Whether you’re going to be a lecturer at a university, the head of a company giving a keynote, or a former drug addict telling your inspirational story, public speaking is a skill that needs to be worked on.
If you can’t get up there and speak confidently about your subject, you’ll struggle to gain the veneration that professional public speakers do. But that’s just the start.
Let’s go over a few beginner’s tips on how to become a public speaker.
How to Become a Public Speaker
When you’re getting started, public speaking is a lot like the performing arts. It’s all about putting yourself in front of crowds and showing them what you can do. For anyone that isn’t used to or familiar with self-promotion, this can seem daunting.
Once you’ve overcome the apprehension of physically speaking in public, there are things you’ll have to start doing to become successful. Follow these tips and you’ll be an orator in no time.
When you’re starting out, what you’re really going to need to do is practice. Talk to any performer that you know and they’ll tell you, it doesn’t get better until you’ve been in front of people many times.
Start by contacting small organizations for short talks at their events. Keep it local at the beginning, then start branching out. Don’t be afraid to drive a few hours to another town.
One day you’ll look back on the good old days when you’re speaking in front of huge rooms.
Don’t Charge at First
Since you’re new to this, you can’t expect to get paid like an old pro. A good business practice to use when starting out is to do free talks and workshops.
It might not be the most lucrative, but its great experience that is so valuable to your future self. If you’ve developed a good voice and a good topic, the people that saw you for free at the beginning will remember you and bring you in down the road.
Know Your Stuff
Whether you’re going for information or inspiration, you’ll need to appear to know what you’re talking about. Pick a subject that you’re interested in and passionate about. The more authentically passionate you are, the more impressive you’ll come across.
Do lots of research beforehand to see what other people are talking about. Find something that you love and put an original spin on it. Be creative, that’s what people will be drawn to.
Then comes the fun part. Doing research and crafting your speech will be the most rewarding bit in the process.
Keep it interesting and accurate, but leave room for levity. You want people to think about what you’ve told them when they leave. To do that, you need to be entertaining.
Put On a Good Show
Once you’ve crafted a good talk, you can begin to practice your delivery. To rise above the competition, you should watch what other speakers are doing and think about what you love about their talks and what you can do better.
Be engaging. Your audience will appreciate an interactive talk. Move around the stage, talk to your audience instead of at them.
It will feel silly, but practice the performative aspect of the speech at home in front of a mirror. You’ll never know what you look like until you see yourself!
Check Out Workshops
If you’re having trouble finding your voice, it never hurts to get advice from other professionals. Go to workshops like the ones at the MOXiE Institute, where you can gain advanced leadership and communication skills from watching the pros.
Beyond the obvious benefits of learning at workshops, you’ll again meet many like-minded people in the same position as you. Feed off of their energy and make some new friends while you perfect your craft.
Have a Good Marketing Plan
While you’re building a rapport with local organizations and patrons, start up your online and offline marketing campaign. Make a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a website to promote yourself through.
Start considering your image and how you want to come across online. Make sure to use your social media accounts to promote your appearances at events. This will be a slow burn at first, but the more you talk, the more people will visit your pages.
Another way to grow your social media presence is by following organizations and befriending other public speakers online. When you do this, you’re letting other people in on what your plans are and you could meet someone online that could help you out down the road.
Join local groups and international groups and don’t be afraid to direct message like-minded people and network with them.
Offline marketing campaigns can work just as well as online ones, especially when you’re starting out in your local region. Put up flyers or business cards on bulletins, in mailboxes, a and in local shops that your audience might go to.
Making your presence known to your prospective audience is a good way to start. Organizations and event planners will remember you if you are able to fill a room for them. Show them what you’ve got!
You’re Ready to Speak
Just because you’re new to this doesn’t mean you won’t be great at it. Some people are natural communicators, while some need practice and confidence building. Knowing how to become a public speaker is a learning process.
There’s no right or wrong way to go about it. But as long as you know how to put yourself out there and have something interesting to say, you’ll be wowing audiences before you know it.
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